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Thread: 3-speed transmission 1951 Special

  1. #1
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    3-speed transmission 1951 Special

    I had the input shaft bearing go bad on my '51 Special 3-speed. I got another transmission from a junk yard and the input shaft bearing was also bad. A friend who is a mechanic went through one of these transmissions, replacing the input shaft bearing and also going over everything else. He said he could not figure out, in the design, how gear oil is supposed to get to that bearing, so he replaced the bearing with a sealed bearing, which should work well for the amount I'm going to be driving the car. My mechanic friend also builds street rods, and is into old cars, but this was the first Buick 3-speed he's worked on.

    My question is: How does the original, non-sealed, input shaft bearing get lubricated? ....and....is this a poor design and that's why the two transmissions I have here failed?

    Dave

  2. #2
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    3 speed

    I have had several Buick 3 speeds. Never a failure. Have one p[1950] now.

    Ben

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    Check the (rear) main bearing clearance. If severely worn no transmission will last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 322bnh View Post
    Check the (rear) main bearing clearance. If severely worn no transmission will last.

    Thanks for the tip - I plan on checking all bearing clearances before dropping in the replacement motor I got. I also have all new clutch parts, including the pilot bearing, and will check the flywheel to see if it needs to be turned. I have two flywheels so I'll use whichever is better.
    Dave

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